U.S. Foreign Policies in the Middle East

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Introduction

The Cold War was a rivalry between the expansion of Soviet influence and the interests of the American powers. This contention existed for decades and resulted in anti-communist uncertainties and global episodes contributing to bringing the two global forces to the brink of a nuclear war (Hassan, 2017). The result of this international aggression ruined internal politics and worsened regional conflicts. Moreover, the grafting of the United States and Soviet Union enmity over pre-existing Middle Eastern antagonism intensified (Hassan, 2017). The United States victory over Saddam Hussein is regarded as the zenith of American supremacy and global authority (Ashton, 2013). The Cold War significantly shaped the U.S. overseas program and partisan beliefs. It also influenced the local economy and the office of the president, as it also affected the daily lives of American residents (Hassan, 2017). The end of the Cold War impacted the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East in some ways. For example, the United States decided to drop its interest in counteracting the influence of the Soviet Union and focus on the oil reserves in the Middle East and supporting Israel (Hassan, 2017). This paper explores how the Post-Cold War period influenced the US program in the Mid-east.

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America’s Involvement in the Middle East

The U.S. association with the region can be traced back to the 1850s. During this period, the United States attempted to expand its trade with the Middle East by entering into a lucrative accord with the Persian Empire (Halabi, 2016). However, business in this region did not expand for the next four decades because the residents’ population was not pleased with the American political, economic, and religious ideas (Halabi, 2016). The U.S. evaluated the benefits of the Middle East as an intermediary section between three continents. At this time, the Middle East became famous for its global supply of oil and its nearness to the Soviet Union. Before World War II, the United States’ attention was not geared towards the Middle East due to Britain’s presence in the region.

During the Second World War, the U.S. and its European confederates identified the strategic importance of oil reserves in the Middle East. These two sections realized that this resource was important to combating a contemporary conflict and helping Europe recover from the scars of the war (Halabi, 2016). Therefore, the second World War acted as a defining moment that activated the United States’ interests in the eastern region.

The Origin of the Cold War

The Cold War was a period of a long-standing conflict between the USA and the USSR, which ended in the termination of the Soviet Union. This period was characterized by artillery dominance, placeholder wars, and sociopolitical exertions for global influence and supremacy (Sick, 2018). The words “Cold War” had long existed when it was applied in an essay to elaborate on increasingly apprehensive relationships between the European nations (Sick, 2018). After the United States’ involvement in ending the Second World War, which led to the detonation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, George Orwell, a writer, used the words in a paper that explored the meaning of the atomic bomb in global relations (Sick, 2018). The atomic bomb used was such a massive threat that created tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. During this time, the “Cold War” began to gain popularity as countries separated (Halabi, 2016). Therefore, the rivalry between the United States and the USSR intensified, which led to an ideological contest between communism and capitalism.

The U.S. foreign policy changed its strategic ambitions to entirely participate in the international system after the Second World War. The nation’s legislators aimed at establishing American economic and military influence to create a new international and laissez-faire economic order and international security landscape (Sick, 2018). These legislators agreed that the petroleum reserves in the Middle East were essential in Europe and Japan’s healing process and combating the Soviet Union. Therefore, from the beginning, the Mediterranean and the Middle East’s economic and strategic advantages influenced U.S. foreign policy.

The Soviets’ repudiation to remove their troops from within the Iranian boundaries in 1946 was the first significant factor in the Cold War. Although there is no evidence of U.S. President Truman impeding nuclear weapons, Joseph Stalin was cognizant of American nuclear capabilities due to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Halabi, 2016). After that, the U.S. started its pursuit of establishing superiority in the Middle East and preventing the Soviet Union from establishing its influence. The American strategy also aimed at barring the Soviet Union from participating in regional diplomacy (Halabi, 2016). With Truman at the forefront, the U.S. achieved this by surrounding the Soviet Union by constructing a defense pact with allies such as Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey.

America’s Overseas Programs During the Cold War

Regardless of the distance between the American territory and the Middle East, the West has influence and connections in almost all nations in the world. Due to strategic reasons, the U.S. was compelled to develop long-term relations with the Middle East. The factors that influenced American policies in the region during the Cold War emerged to deter the growth of Communism by the Soviet Union while also ensuring free transportation of petroleum resources to the American industry (Hassan, 2017). Lastly, its interest in the region also led to securing the state of Israel and other pro-Western regions.

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The Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine was a U.S. policy geared towards deterring the spread of communism by the Soviet Union. President Truman made a stand that the United States would offer political, military, and economic reinforcement to all free states threatened by either external or internal tyrannical powers. The doctrine successfully repositioned the American policy away from its normal aim of retracting regional disagreements to intervention in distant conflicts (Sick, 2018). During this time, the West believed that the Soviet Union reinforced the Greek Collectivist war exertion and the Americans were afraid that the Soviets would ultimately control the Greek policy (Sick, 2018). Moreover, the Truman policy influenced the decisions of Greece and Turkey.

Four barriers served to successfully ruin any chance of achieving a long-lasting post-war reconciliation with the Soviet Union. First, the Soviets declined to remove their troops from Iran following the Tehran Declaration of 1943 (Sick, 2018). Secondly, the Soviets coerced the Iran administration to grant them oil permits while allegedly fueling the Azerbaijani rebels’ irredentism. Thirdly, the Soviets forced the Turkish administration to grant them transit and base privileges through the Turkish Straits (Sick, 2018). Lastly, the Soviet administration disallowed the Baruch plan for global nuclear energy domination and weapons in 1946 (Hassan, 2017). Therefore, in light of the failing relationship with the Soviets, President Truman’s efforts to adjust the American foreign policy were facilitated by British support to Greece.

Truman maintained that the American territory could no longer allow the Soviets to expand their totalitarianism ideologies into free and autonomous nations forcefully. From the beginning, the Truman Doctrine intended to establish national security departments to support foreign nations while also orchestrating containment measures to curb the expansion of communism (Halabi, 2016). Therefore, this doctrine allowed the U.S. to counter the Soviets’ movement in a bid to secure its interests in the Mid-east.

The Oil Reserves

The eastern region is famous for its large deposits of oil reserves. The USA developed an interest in these valuable resources in the era of the Cold War. The West was majorly focused on ensuring the American industry’s oil was flowing at a low price (Halabi, 2016). This pursuit was driven by the need to assist Europe in recovering from the scars of the Second World War and facilitating the development of Asian and Third World nations (Halabi, 2016). Perhaps, all these efforts were channeled at containing and suppressing the appeal and powers of the Soviets. Middle East nations, specifically the Persian Gulf, are significant oil producers, exporting a significant percentage to other countries in the world.

The geopolitics of oil can be traced back to the 1970s and explains the Cold War’s nature towards U.S. interests in the Middle East. Controlling abundant domestic oil supplies and the ability to ensure access to the oil reserves were vital elements in the West’s power position in its Cold War rivalry with the Soviets (Halabi, 2016). However, American oil production reached its pinnacle in 1970, making the U.S. increasingly reliant on oil imports and undermining its ability to offer oil to its allies during supply disruptions (Halabi, 2016). Moreover, economic patriotism and war in the Middle East resulted in interruptions of supply and increases in oil prices in 1973-1974 and again in 1978-80 (Halabi, 2016). Such measures undermined the American pursuit of dominating the Middle East as well as its resources.

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In contrast, the Soviets replaced America as the leading producer of oil in the 1970s, and the higher oil prices were regarded as a bonus, which supported the Soviet forces and economic power in the Third World. The oil crises created the impression that the Soviets were winning the war while also heightening concerns about the perils of Western reliance on Third World resources (Halabi, 2016). Although these crises caused detriment to the U.S. while also leading to the end of rapprochement, they also created the platform for the Cold War’s dissolution.

Supporting Israel

The United States developed a close relationship with Israel in the 1960s. Throughout the history of the American government, all the administrations have continually affirmed that Israel’s security is vital and symbolizes national interest (Sick, 2018). Therefore, the coalition between the two countries is based on shared values, domestic assistance, and security interests. Both the two nations have long countered their rivals in the Middle East. For example, the pro-Soviet governments such as Gamal Abdel Nasser established in Egypt and Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi influence (Ashton, 2013). Israel played an imperative role in assisting the West to impede Iran’s nuclear programs in the period before the Iran deal. Countries that support the American-Israel coalition emphasize that the latter signifies an island of fairness in the fascistic sea of the Middle East (Ashton, 2013). Therefore, in helping to secure Israel, the American power is thus protecting its values. Additionally, Israel’s public opinion of the land of opportunity in contrast to the Arab state is satisfactory, and the coalition is based on democracy.

The Cold War shaped the origin and purpose of the U.S. developing a relationship with Israel’s state. America became the first country to extend Israel’s diplomatic recognition to maintain an image of credibility and outwit the Soviet Union in 1949 (Halabi, 2016). During this time, the American policy was majorly based on countering Soviet expansionist efforts. Israel initially implemented a policy of isolationism from both the Westerners and the Soviets to receive opportunities from both sides (Ashton, 2013). The American powers took a tentative approach towards Israel and focused on establishing rapport with the Arab territories. Such implies that the Cold War influenced the United States’ foreign policy towards Israel.

All American presidents from Woodrow to Truman supported establishing a Jewish national home in the Middle East. The U.S. stand with Israel was not influenced by domestic factions or the Jewish population in America, but rather for strategic reasons in the Cold War era (Ashton, 2013). Its support for Israel was initially based on early pledges stipulated in the Balfour Declaration and United Nations Resolution in 1917 and 1947 (Ashton, 2013). Both of these declarations proposed establishing a Jewish residence in the region, referred to as Palestine. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, the American state department supported policy decisions that gave Arab nations over Israel to uphold a dominant Western presence in the Middle East (Halabi, 2016). The Eisenhower doctrine adjusted American policy to rebuff the Soviet expansionist exertions in the Middle East by keeping a positive relationship with Arab territories.

Strategic Reasons for the Security of Israel

The United States has always been interested in supporting and protecting the State of Israel for several reasons. For example, Israel has always had deep interests in establishing a close relationship with America (Halabi, 2016). Therefore, Israel prevented conquests by radical separationist movements in Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, a strategic move favoring the United States (Halabi, 2016). Zion also successfully monitored and prevented Syria from causing chaos, a country that has been a supporter of Soviet expansionists for many years (Ashton, 2013). Moreover, the United States also realized that Israel had an outstanding air force throughout its vicinity while also giving the U.S. a platform for testing its weapons against the Soviet armaments (Halabi, 2016). Israel’s significance to the United States was also seen when Zion acted as a channel for U.S. weaponry to regimes shunned, such as the apartheid rule in South Africa and military junta in Guatemala (Sick, 2018). Zion’s intelligence unit has also helped the Americans in gathering intel and covert operations. Lastly, the United States is aware that Zion possesses projectiles compared to the former Soviets and other nuclear artilleries.

Post-Cold War and American Foreign Policies

The United States dropped perhaps one of its national interests in containing the Soviet expansion in the Middle East following the Cold War. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was regarded as the immediate enemy of the United States’ interests (Sick, 2018). However, after the fall of the Soviets, both Iraq and Iran became the immediate enemies of Westerners’ interests in the Middle East. Therefore, the American administrations that were there after the Cold War aimed the American containment exertions towards Iran and Iraq (Halabi, 2016). This period also led to the U.S. developing an interest in promoting human rights and spreading democracy in the Middle East (Halabi, 2016). Moreover, it also began preventing the further spread of nuclear arsenal while also focusing on counterterrorism due to the tragic incidents of the 9/11 attacks.

Preventing the Spread of Nuclear Armaments

The U.S. has long been regarded as a global superpower due to its military and economic superiority. Therefore, the country has to get involved with any other country that has nuclear capabilities. The Westerners got involved in nuclear proliferation in the Middle East due to its foreign policy of counteracting any antagonistic state from gaining enough control to jeopardize its national interests in oil reserves (Lynch, 2015). Nonetheless, this issue involves various concerns about Israel’s protection and a more general standpoint that the production of nuclear weapons poses a significant risk, especially about hostile governments (Sick, 2018). As a world superpower, the Westerners had to get involved in such matters to prevent nuclear proliferation.

American power does not portray the Israeli nuclear program as a threat because it is considered an ally. U.S. representatives are comfortable because the State of Israel did not use its nuclear arsenal regardless of its security being jeopardized in 1973. Various American administrations have regarded Israel as an unwavering and rational actor with a qualified military and will be cautious in preventing a nuclear event and ensuring proper control (Ashton, 2013). Irrespective of Israel’s nuclear program, the most significant peril of proliferation comes from Iran. The former developed a comprehensive nuclear program and increased uranium to approximately 20% but sanctions helped lure Iran to negotiation (Chomsky, Achcar & Shalom, 2015). America and Iran decided to work together to terminate Iran’s fissile project in exchange for revoking the sanctions from the USA (Halabi, 2016). Iran was regarded as hostile to the U.S. and Israel to the uncertainty of its command, control, and accident-prevention programs.

The United States has long monitored the Iranian government’s activities because it is regarded as a potential candidate for terrorism and other insurgent acts. American has to deter the country from expanding its nuclear endeavor because a nuclear Iran would pose a significant risk of subversion, insurgency, and terrorism (Modigs, 2003). Regardless of the Iranian government’s attempts to achieve more significant influence, religious issues have hindered the country from accomplishing the goal of leading the Muslim world (Modigs, 2003). While Iran’s influence thrived in Syria and Iraq, its perception has blatantly declined in the eyes of the Westerners.

The United States are also concerned with a “reactive” proliferation, where if a country acquires nuclear arms, other nations are more likely to acquire the same, which leads to a greater risk of war. Examples of countries that are considered potential reactive proliferators are Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other regional states (Modigs, 2003). Regardless of these candidates, Saudi Arabia is not considered a nuclear threat because it lacks the necessary technological and industrial power to buy a nuclear arm (Halabi, 2016). In contrast, Turkey may own the essential resources, but it does not have an intense opposition that would foster artillery development (Halabi, 2016). Interestingly, most likely, proliferators are considered allies to the United States, which equates to the Iranian nuclear power threat (Halabi, 2016). In 2007, the Syrian determination to develop a nuclear weapon was discontinued by an Israeli airstrike which implied that a significant threat to nuclear proliferation would be Iran.

The issue of proliferation and the use of both biological and chemical hazards are mixed. In 2003, President George W. Bush successfully made Libya discontinue its efforts to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear arms (Halabi, 2016). The Obama administration also forced the Syrian government to demolish its chemical weaponry project (Lynch, 2015). Regardless of American powers’ attempts to counteract the threat of nuclear weapons, it will continue to remain a significant focus for all American regimes.

Spreading Democracy

The Cold War shaped the interests of America in the Middle East. Following the Soviet Union’s disbandment, the USA started the process of spreading democracy in the region (Krieg, 2016). Various American administrations have incorporated a strategy of exceptionalism where it portrayed the democracy in the region as both dubious and undesirable (Halabi, 2016). During the Bush administration, this policy was adjusted, but the violent occupation of Iraq and Hizballah’s victory in an election in Lebanon rendered the adoption of democratization appear unwise and counterproductive (Sick, 2018). However, the astonishing occurrence of the Arab spring deemed democracy as genuine, though the love for democracy was neutralized as the Arab spring decentralized into a civil war and resulted in a coup in Egypt (Halabi, 2016). Therefore, the cessation of the rivalry between the Americans and the Soviets is correlated to the U.S. promoting democracy in the eastern region.

America promoted democracy in this region because of despotic regimes such as the Qaddafi’s regime in Libya, Mubarak’s reign in Egypt, and Salih’s Yemen. These regimes contributed to the threat of terrorism against the American territories while the al-Qa’ida had the chance of recruiting individuals, courtesy of these respective regimes (Modigs, 2003). Additionally, the U.S. upholding of despotism ruined its name amid Arabs. Hence, democracy advocates expected that an amendment of the policy would restore what was lost since egalitarianism was popular in the region (Halabi, 2016). Advocating for equality also affiliates with the American values, whereas, strategically, long-term, and close American coalitions were based on strong democracies (Sick, 2018). Consequently, if a democratic system were successfully promoted, the U.S. would have more countries with shared political values.

A critical evaluation points out several flaws that are present in these arguments. For example, the United States supporting democracy under the Bush administration, and then later under President Obama has tarnished the nation’s image in the Arab world (Hassan, 2017). The American influence endorsement is at a low percentage in Jordan, while in Egypt and other nations in the region, preference for the U.S. remains low (Sick, 2018). Most of the tyrants were loyal U.S. allies, especially Jordan and Egypt, who upheld peace with Israel. Therefore, in its advocacy for democracy, the United States was abandoning allies, while their substitutes were anonymous.

Skeptics also indicated that combating terrorism necessitates a strong government, and democracy destabilizes governments while the risk of civil discord creates opportunities for al-Qa’ida and other related groups. Therefore, while the complaints that promote terrorists may fall, governments’ ability to combat them also deteriorates (Halabi, 2016). The fall of weak regimes in Yemen and Libya, irrespective of the hopes for democracy and the development of jihadism in Egypt, is partly because of the fall of government power.

The details of America’s position towards advocating for democracy have been more apparent in Egypt than it is in the eastern region. America’s unwillingness to publicly reproach the Egyptian force’s participation in a coup to remove a legitimately elected Mohamed Morsi has proved the clash of interests and democratic beliefs (Sick, 2018). Furthermore, the United States’ subsequent decline of congressional calls for eliminating foreign assistance from Egypt proved the point above (Halabi, 2016). President Obama’s stance in Egypt was further confounded by the Egyptian’s declaration for the support of Morsi military removal and subsequent suppression against the Muslim community (Lynch, 2015). President Obama was left with no choice but to foster stability and order over a democratic system because he would not support a legitimately elected but anti-American government.

Counterterrorism

Combating terrorism is one of the most important foreign policies of the White House since the end of the war. In American history, the origin of terror attacks can be traced back to the events of the 9/11 attacks. This event was an act of terror that involved a series of coordinated bouts orchestrated by al-Qaeda against the American territories in 2001 (Modigs, 2003). This terror group’s origin dates back to the error of the Soviet war in Afghanistan between 1979-1989 (Modigs, 2003). Bin Laden was the leader of al-Qaeda who declared war against the States and Israel and later released a video asserting his claims (Modigs, 2003). Since then, the White House has considered counterterrorism a priority in its foreign program in the east.

The United States has always considered al-Qaeda and other related movements as a threat to its national interests. It is because this terror group has always plotted attacks on American soil and other allied targets, both in the West and East (Modigs, 2003). The group has also plotted strikes in Europe since the 9/11 bouts. Regardless of these plots, this terror group has not successfully executed attacks in the U.S. for some time (Chomsky et al., 2015). The emergence of the terror group has also sparked extremist fears. The White House is worried about the young European Muslims on Syrian battlefields as they may develop an anti-Western perspective.

American Military Response to Afghanistan

Following the September 2001 attacks, the Bush administration issued a stipulation to Afghanistan’s Taliban regime to either surrender Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda organizers or risk an attack. In return, the Taliban demanded proof of bin Laden’s involvement with the 9/11 attacks, and, if such proof justified a trial, the perpetrator would be tried in an Islamic Court (Modigs, 2003). However, the United States declined to offer proof of bin Laden’s links to the attacks. Afterward, the Bush administration annexed Afghanistan for the removal of the Taliban government. An official conquest of the region began when the U.S. and U.K. orchestrated an airstrike canvass over the rival targets (Modigs, 2003). The capital city of Afghanistan, Kabul, was brought to its knees by November 2001. The remaining terrorist groups retreated to the east of Afghanistan. In December 2001, the allied forces, made up of the United States and its allies, waged war in the region, which compelled bin Laden to flee into Pakistan during the encounter.

American Military Response to Iraq

American administrations had always portrayed Iraq as a supporter of terrorism since Saddam Hussien conquered Kuwait. Hussein’s rule in Iraq was detrimental to the interests of the U.S. and its allies due to the proliferation of chemical artillery against the Kurds and Iranians (Modigs, 2003). A significant percentage of the U.S. Congress allowed the president to use deadly force if needed to neutralize Iraq in October 2002 (Modigs, 2003). However, after it failed to convince Russia, China, and France against the UNSC resolution that would disallow the use of deadly force against Iraq, the Westerners mobilized a group comprising countries who assured support for its policy of changing the Iraqi regime.

The Iraq Warfare started in 2003 with an airstrike, which was instantly followed by American ground conquest. President Bush affirmed that the conquest was the consequence stipulated in the UNSC Resolution (Sick, 2018). The capital of Iraq, Baghdad, collapsed in the same year while the Hussein regime was terminated (Modigs, 2003). Later, the Bush administration announced that significant military troops in Iraq were recalled. However, an uprising arose against the American influence and its allies from the freshly growing Iraqi forces (Krieg, 2016). The revolt, which comprised of al-Qaeda affiliations, contributed to more victims than the conquest. Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein was apprehended by American forces in late 2003 and executed in 2006 (Krieg, 2016). The fall of Saddam Hussein weakened the rift and tensions that were present between the U.S. and Iraq.

The “Islamic State”

The origin of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) can be traced back to Iraq. This movement was part of the al-Qaeda network, but its membership was revoked due to its hostility and targeting of Muslims (Modigs, 2003). However, it rapidly grew and invaded parts of Syria and Iraq. Its operations, experienced fighters, and the possession of stolen American equipment jeopardized the U.S. Kurdish allies and the American-backed regimes in Iraq (Modigs, 2003). Moreover, several hostile videos of ISIS members executing Americans frightened American society. As such, the Westerners decided that they would not watch ISIS cause mayhem and instill fear in the local population (Modigs, 2003). The American administration repositioned special forces to reinforce the Kurds and the Iraqi army in their fight against ISIS (Modigs, 2003). The Obama administration also had to channel special forces in Syria, an area where he previously resisted. The Trump administration also increased the United States’ special forces presence in Syria.

Trump Administration and Saudi Arabia

Former U.S. administrations opted for various Middle East policy approaches, yet they all worked with a standard set of customs and acknowledged practices. However, President Trump’s presidential moves and actions while in office signified total deviation from past administrations (Modigs, 2003). Trump applied a blend of isolationist and aggressive policies towards the Middle East. He contradicted the Iraq War but also believed their biggest mistake was not tapping Iraq’s oil (Sick, 2018). He also reinforced the extermination of terrorists along with their families. The Trump administration also questioned the long-term relationship the U.S. had with Saudi Arabia (Modigs, 2003). Interestingly, President Trump’s counterterrorism approach was different from the former administrations, which influenced its involvement with the Middle East.

Today, the war against terrorism seems to be on the winning edge since the threat has been deemed below. The American territory has not been significantly affected since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Additionally, the number of people who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq is almost twice as much as the ones who died in 2001 (Modigs, 2003). Such implies that the risks of involving in the Middle East were high. Various sources have also reported that al-Qaeda has been severely hit and is not as dominant as they were a decade ago (Modigs, 2003). This terrorist group’s fall is attributed to the demise of Osama bin Laden, challenges in Iraq, ideological differences within the Salafist society, and the Arab Spring (Modigs, 2003). The scarcity of recent al-Qaeda bouts also implies the group’s failure, thereby suggesting that American counterterrorism was effective from the start.

Threats and Barriers to American Interests

In its history with the Soviets and the Middle East, America has faced several threats that attempted to counter Maghreb’s national interests. The Iranian factor was regarded as a hindrance to primary U.S. interests such as nuclear proliferation, protection of Israel, counterterrorism, and securing access to the oil reserves (Halabi, 2016). The American administration is in a position to secure local and global access to oil by preventing Iran from using its military influence to control oil reserves (Halabi, 2016). The poor state of Iran’s armed forces and the limitation of the harsh state’s military suggest that allies can thrive independently, especially if they support the American administration.

Another threat to America’s interests in the eastern region is the Arab-Israeli clashes. This conflict will continue to jeopardize U.S. involvement with the Middle East if the two do not reach an agreement (Ashton, 2013). The Westerners should consider working towards the prevention of Israel from becoming a stark pariah state by dissenting UN resolutions, advocating for transparency in trade relations, and also championing the grievances of Israel in global conferences (Sick, 2018). Ensuring peace and harmony with the Palestinians would undermine Israel’s pariah status and mend America’s image in the Middle East.

Conclusion

This paper has explored the Cold War’s depths and how the Soviet expansionist aspirations influenced the American foreign program in the eastern region. Throughout the Cold War, American administrations focused on deterring the influence of the Soviets in the region as a means of establishing a platform for its national interests. After the downfall of the Soviet Union, the USA program in the Middle East had to be adjusted, and the country, whereas its interests of petroleum in the region, was retained. Therefore, the US had to protect Israel to access the oil reserves successfully. In the process, America faced a new caliber of rivals, especially Iran and Iraq. From this period henceforth, the Westerners focused on combating nuclear proliferation, which also led to counterterrorism later on. Regardless of the influence of the Soviets, and from the arguments above, it is clear that America’s policy in the Middle East was only tailored towards its national interests. However, it does not imply that the ambitions of Soviet expansionists did not play a role in these policies; the Soviets influenced America during the Cold War.

References

Ashton, N. J. (2013). Hitler on the Nile?: British and American perceptions of the Nasser regime. In Freedman, Lawrence and Michaels, Jeffrey, (Eds.), Scripting Middle East Leaders: the Impact of Leadership Perceptions on Us and Uk Foreign Policy (pp. 1952-70). London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

Chomsky, N., Achcar, G., & Shalom, S. R. (2015). Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice. Tennessee. Routledge.

Halabi, Y. (2016). US foreign policy in the Middle East: From crises to change. Routledge.

Hassan, O. (2017). Making the unipolar moment: US foreign policy and the rise of the post-Cold War order. International Affairs, 93(1), 242-243.

Krieg, A. (2016). Externalizing the burden of war: The Obama Doctrine and US foreign policy in the Middle East. International Affairs, 92(1), 97–113.

Lynch, M. (2015). Obama and the Middle East. Foreign Aff., 94, 18.

Modigs, R. (2003). United States foreign policy in the Middle East after the Cold War. Army Command and General Staff College. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Sick, G. (2018). The United States in the Persian Gulf: From twin pillars to dual containment. In The Middle East and the United States (pp. 237-252). Routledge.

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